Game Preview: Raptors vs Sixers
Toronto Raptors (25-9) @ Philadelphia 76ers (21-12)
When: Saturday, December 22nd 7:30 P.M. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Leading into tonight’s game:
Injury Report: For the Raptors, Jonas Valanciunas is out with a dislocated left thumb. Kyle Lowry, Serge Ibaka and Danny Green all missed Friday’s game against the Cavaliers and their status for Saturday is unknown. For the Sixers, Wilson Chandler is out with a quad contusion, Markelle Fultz is out with thoracic outlet syndrome, Justin Patton is out following right foot surgery and Zhaire Smith is out after left foot surgery.
Back-to-back: Saturday’s game will be the second in a back-to-back for the Raptors, who are in Philadelphia after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 126-110 at Scotiabank Arena on Friday. The Raptors are 6-0 in the second night of a back-to-back this season. This will be the final game for Toronto before the team has a three-day break for the Christmas holiday. The Raptors will meet in Miami on Dec. 26 to face the Heat at 7:30 P.M. ET.
Recent history: This will be the third meeting between these two teams this season, with the Raptors leading the season series 2-0. Toronto earned a 129-112 victory against the Sixers on October 30th, behind a 31-point effort from Kawhi Leonard, a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double from Pascal Siakam, and a 20-point, 12-assist double-double from Kyle Lowry. In the second meeting, Toronto notched a 113-102 victory, thanks to 36 points from Leonard, 26 from Jonas Valanciunas and 18 from Serge Ibaka. Jimmy Butler had 38 points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers in the loss.
Sky-high: OG Anunoby wasted little time getting off to a hot start against the Cavaliers, exploding for 15 points in the first quarter and finishing with a season-high tying 21 points to go with eight rebounds in 22 minutes. Anunoby had a number of highlight-reel-worthy plays, including a thunderous slam late that had the entire bench on its feet.
Season-high: Kawhi Leonard matched a season-high against the Cavaliers, finishing with 37 points in 32 minutes. Leonard shot 12-for-16 from the floor, 2-for-4 from the three-point line and 11-for-12 from the free-throw line. He added six rebounds, an assist and a steal while contributing a 15-point third quarter where he was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor. Leonard made all seven of his field goal attempts in the second half, scoring 22 of his 37 points after the halftime break.
Familiar faces: Saturday’s game will be a homecoming for Kyle Lowry who is a Philadelphia native and Villanova alum. Former Raptors big man Amir Johnson now plays for the Sixers while Lorenzo Brown played for the Sixers during the 2013-14 season. Fred VanVleet and Landry Shamet were teammates at Wichita State during the 2015-16 season and Norman Powell and Jonah Bolden both attended UCLA.